Triple Onion Nectarine Jam has all the caramelized sweetness of yellow onions, shallots, and leeks combined with the tartness of nectarines to create a luscious condiment. Great on burgers and with salty cheeses. Change up your favorite sandwich.
Timmy’s grapes were always best. In a small boy’s opinion, a simple snack somehow elevated to being the best.
Every day we would go to the park when my son was a toddler. There was a constant group of little boys who loved to play with trucks and were very open about sharing their toys. The other guy’s trucks were always more fun to play with, better than any they owned. My son applied the same reasoning to snacks. Timmy always had grapes and he was very generous about sharing his snack. One by one my son popped them in his mouth. Due to the popularity of Timmy’s grapes, I made a point to purchase a bag at the grocery store. Of course, the grapes at home were never quite as delicious or sweet as Timmy’s and soon we had our own raisin creating experiment.
Now it is nectarines. Son number 2 went on a trip that involved a homestay with a family. This lovely and generous family shared their food and customs with my son. Every day they had cheese and nectarines with lunch. He has commented more than a few times about this beautiful, golden-hued fruit and how sweet they tasted. He can almost wax nostalgic about the ripe lunch nectarine. So again, I purchase some of this magic fruit at the grocery store. You know what is coming next, the neglected and forgotten fruit sits in the fruit bowl, no longer the golden-hued beauty.
But I can smell the sweet aroma of the fruit. It is still a contender for some recipe needing a burst of tart sweetness.
Caramelizing three types of onions
This triple onion nectarine jam is the perfect vehicle for a very ripe and past it’s best fruit. Caramelizing the three types of onions accentuates their sweetness. The nectarine brings a tart depth of flavor to the sweetness. The addition of the wine and thyme brings a savoriness to the jam.
The secret to caramelizing onions is to go slow and low. If you try to hurry the process by having the heat too high, the onions will burn. I start caramelizing the yellow onions first. Once they start to show a little color, I add the shallots. When the shallots start to release some liquid and soften, I add the leeks. Check the heat so that the leeks do not burn. As the onions leave a nice crusty brown residue in the bottom of the pan, add some water. Continue deglazing with water until the onions are a deep, rich color.
Add the tartness of nectarines
When the onions are deeply brown, soft, and creamy, add the nectarines. Stir the fruit into the onions and let the heat work its magic. The nectarines will get soft in no time and you will be able to incorporate them until a jammy consistency has been reached. The final additions of wine, honey, and thyme help to add a depth of flavor.
I love this on burgers with a salty cheese like parmesan. Add it to a sandwich to switch up the mayonnaise/mustard monotony. It complements the smokiness of grilled meats nicely. Layer some inside a grilled cheese. I have a confession though – it is not an unusual occurrence for me to just slather the triple onion nectarine jam on a warm piece of toast.
Triple Onion Nectarine Jam
- Saute pan
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions sliced, 3 ½ cups
- 4 shallots sliced, ¾ cup
- 2 leeks sliced, 2 cups
- 1 cup water
- 2 nectarines very ripe, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- ⅓ cup white wine
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Caramelize the onions
- Over medium heat, add the olive oil to the saute pan. Once hot, add the yellow onion slices. Season with salt. Saute the onions while occasionally stirring, for 10 minutes. The onions will start to release some liquid. Add the shallots to the onions and continue stirring for 5 minutes. Next add the leeks and continue to stir occasionally for 10 minutes. The onions will start to get very soft and stick to the pan. You should see a brown, crusty residue, better known as fond, start to develop on the bottom of the pan. This fond helps to develop the flavor of the jam.
- Add ¼ cup of the water to the pan and stir to deglaze. The fond will release as you stir the onions. Cook for about 3 minutes until the water is absorbed and the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan again. Add another ¼ cup of water and repeat as above. Continue this process until the full cup of water has been added.
Flavor the jam
- Add the nectarine slices and mix with the onions. As the nectarines cook, they will soften and start to fall apart. Use a wooden spoon to smash the nectarines into the onions. Once the fruit is fully incorporated, add the white wine. Continue to stir until the onions and the fruit start to get jammy. At this point add the honey, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Check the seasoning of the jam and adjust the salt if needed.